So, Like…Do I Wash My Eyelash Extensions or Not?
So for everyone who knows me, knows the germaphobe and health freak I truly am. I need everything around me to be sanitary, and this also includes my clients’ lashes. Every artist has an opinion on the “wash or not to wash” debate, including myself. In fact, I have some very strong opinions on it and the main one is this…WASH YOUR LASHES!!!! This is not optional. If you choose to maintain lash extensions and your eye health, then wash your lashes.
I tell all my lash extension clients to wash their lashes twice a day. Over washing will dry out the skin on your lids, under-washing will eventually cause eye illness/infection. If you’re wearing volume/mega volume lash extensions, then not washing them will close the fans and make them appear clumpy and not fluffy and light. Assuming your lash artist is trained and certified by a registered school, they will be taught to leave anywhere between 1-2mm distance between the end of the lash extension and your eyelids when placing the extension on the lash. This little gap leaves room for buildup, dirt, oil, debris to sit in. Without washing all of that out, you’re risking losing your extensions faster, as well as infections like blepharitis, styes, and conjunctivitis. You may not be able to see the way these infections develop, but your artist can, so listen to them when they advise you to take better care of your lashes.
Blepharitis us a fungal infection that is fairly common to those who don’t practice lash extension hygiene. The eyelids of someone who has this, will become swollen red, itchy, spongey and sore. The lids will become sticky and hard to open when they wake up in the morning. Their lashes become crusty, greasy, slimy, and have flakes on them! None of these signs are appealing for your artist to look at, so please, PLEASE wash them.
Another common side effect of improper lash care is a stye on the eyelid. Styes, aka hordeolum, is a small abcess filled with pus on the inside/outside of a lid. They are caused by staphylococcus bacterial infection. The main signs of a stye are tenderness and pain near your lash line. A while back, I had a new client come to me for a full set of lashes. I noticed a bald bump on her lash line, which I Inquired about. She told me that the bump was empty and it was caused from a stye that she had drained over a year prior to making an appointment with me. She had average lash density, however because of how big the stye got, her doctor told he to pull out the natural lashes in the stye so he could drain it. Over a year later, and only two very fine lashes grew back on to the wide and large bump. How do you get rid of a stye developing stye before you get to that point? WASH YOUR LASHES!!!! Also, applying a hot compress and/or a green tea bag will help to oxidize and reduce the stye. Should it get worse, see your doctor for a proper treatment to get rid of it.
Because of all the debris and dirt that lash extensions attract and hold, without cleaning them daily, you’re also risking conjunctivitis, aka pink eye! There are a few difference causes of this illness, unclean eyelashes being one of them. Viral pinkeye will include redness of eyes, excessive tearing, clear or thick whitish drainage, pain, itching, burning and swollen and tender areas in front of ears.
Should you experience any of these unfortunate illnesses from dirty lash extensions, seek help from your doctor to get treated. Washing your eyelash extensions twice a day with either lash shampoo or baby shampoo is highly recommended to reduce the chances of developing these illnesses. In my years of practice, I’ve seen clients who decided to ignore my advice from the beginning, and upon return for their fill, start to have debris buildup on their lashes. Your artist will know whether or not you’re washing, there’s no hiding it. Save yourself the potential infection and lash loss by cleaning your lashes. Your eyes, extensions and artist will thank you!